Benghazi: Wag the red herrings
Five months after the well-planned, heavily-armed, September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, we still do not have official answers to the key questions which are: Who gave the order to "stand down" and not send the pre-planned contingency forces to the embattled Americans in Benghazi? Who is the only elected official with the authority to order U.S. forces to cross the borders of another county? If you know, raise your hand. Good, I see a lot of hands out there.
Whether knowing the truth about Benghazi would have changed the outcome of the recent presidential election will remain unknown. But we do know this: On September 11, 2012, it was the position of the Obama White House that the threat of al-Qaeda ended with the death of Osama bin Laden, that the Arab Spring was turning the Middle East into an oasis of Jeffersonian democracies, and that Mr. Obama’s speech in Cairo and his apologetic tours of the Middle East had stilled the troubled waters. What a shock when al-Qaeda killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, killed another Foreign Service Officer, and two former U.S. Navy SEALs on -- of all days -- September 11th!
Obviously, it was time to call in the spin doctors as in the 1997 Hollywood movie "Wag the Dog." The first pre-election spin (red herring) was that the attacks in Benghazi were a spontaneous reaction to some youtube video that upset some of the Muslim faithful.
When that was exposed as male bovine excreta, it was time to wag more red herrings. The spin began by outing CIA director, former General David Petraeus, and his affair with his female biographer. That consumed some post-election news space.
Then, it was time to out Tampa socialite, Jill Kelley, and her voluminous e-mail traffic with General John R. Allen over in Afghanistan. That worked for awhile. Eventually, the spin doctors also had the help of events such as: Superstorm Sandy, the Newtown school atrocity, Gay marriage, ObamaCare, and Penn State. Those took up a lot of news space.
But as pressure grew this January for Congress to hear Benghazi testimony from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the spin doctors really got to work: Hillary hits head. Hillary in hospital, Hillary has concussion. Memory may be affected. Hillary has double vision. Each story took up news space.
And then, when Secretary Clinton actually went before the Senate, the White House directed the Pentagon to announce -- at the very moment Hillary was being grilled by Senator Rand Paul -- that women will be allowed into all the military combat arms. Boom! Benghazi was no longer the top story. Folks, you gotta hand it to the spin doctors. Even Dr. Goebbels would be proud.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2013. William Hamilton.
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